Introduction: [Collegiate Meals] I Love You (Virus) Burgers

About: Engineer making renewable energy products for African entrepreneurs.

If stereotypes serve right (ha!), "I love you" is the hardest thing to say (or most dangerous). Unless of course its a contagious message in your mailbox awaiting outlook to execute and infect.... And these burgers are contagious!

I personally like my burgers thin, flavorful and I like to eat a lot of them. I really don't like burgers that are so thick that they take so long to cook that they crumble and leave you with a mouthful of meat (of any kind) and nothing else. Not to mention - no more circle burgers with square buns! I learned my lesson when I was little -- the cube won't fit into the circular hole :P

Here's how I make my burgers. If you like Parmesan cheese, you probably like Parmesano Reggiano which gives these burgers a unique aromatic flavor. Nothing says I love you more than a steaming heart made from ground meat :)

Step 1: Ingredients

Lean Ground Meat (Red, White, Other White or just other)
Parmigiano Reggiano

You'll also need a cheese grater for the Parmigiano, some sort of rolling pin (I used a beer bottle) and some freezer paper.

Step 2: Prep

Place your ground meat into a small bowl and add about a quarter cup of finely grated cheese per pound of meat along with two pinches (use your own judgment) of salt per pound.

Mix well -- don't be afraid to mash it up. Make a ball.

Place foil on a baking sheet and place the meat ball on top.Place a sheet of freezer paper on top of this and roll the meat out to a quarter inch thickness. Discard freezer paper.

Select your cutting utensil(s). I am using a heart shape. If you want squares, a pizza cutter works wonders (if you have one) - if not, use the dull side of a knife or a spatula to make squares slightly larger than your buns.

Before you go cutting away at your meat, take a look at your buns. Are they circular? Or square? If you got a mass produced pre-packed sack of buns (the kind that are typically 2 stacks of 4 connected buns), they are likely square ;) So make your meat square.

To fit our special shapes, first cut your buns using the same cutting tool that you will use on your meat - do this first.

Next, use your cutting tool to cut your meat.

Step 3: Cook and Build and Serve

Look at my griddle/waffle maker.... Would you guess that it's 40 years old? Well, it's not -- but my parents have one that is -- and it doesn't look a day over 15 :P My grandmother and grandfather used it, my mother and father use it, I used it and when I went to college, I had to have one myself because my parents wouldn't give theirs up (and I can't blame them for that). Well, years and years later - It's still made! Same exact model.

I highly recommend it too - I believe I paid $40 and it's a waffle iron (flip the irons), griddle, grille and panini machine (makes great pressed Cuban bread/sandwiches).

Anyway - cooking. I set my griddle to a medium heat... So if you're doing the same in a pan, do the same ;) I allowed a few minutes of preheat and gave a very light spray of cooking oil (lean meat == less lubricating oils)

3 minutes used as a panini machine - no flipping. If you're using a pan, 3 minutes on the first side, 2 on the second - flip once. You probably can cook for even less time.

Don't forget to make sure your buns are well toasted -- if you're into that sort of thing ;)

I like a little crunch and a little acid with my burger.... So some heat shaped slices of lettuce and some tomato. To add a bit more aromatic flavor, some grated cheese on top for garnish and flavor.

Served with an Ice cold beer... And I'll be the first here to say - Orange Blossom Pilsner is not good at all - not as bad as a skunky beer. Just cheap tasting.